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  Jimmy Castor
 

 

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Best known for the fuzzy funk breakbeat classic "It's Just Begun," Castor's diverse Latin, funk, disco and novelty repertoire gave him a long career that lasted over twenty years.  As a child, he was a member of the Teenagers, which also included Frankie Lymon.  After the doo wop era had passed, Castor's solo debut "Hey Leroy" met with success in the 1960s. 

As the times changed, so did the music as he put together the Jimmy Castor Bunch with Gerry Thomas (piano, trumpet), Doug Gibson (bass), Lenny Fridie (conga) and Harry Jensen (guitar).  "Begun" was a recording that crystallized the optimistic yet raucous mood within Black America into three minutes of hard-driving funk.  The LP of the same name also contained "Troglodyte," a light hearted tale of a caveman that was kicked off the novelty phase of his career.  The silly tunes came to dominate his releases, as the latest updates on Leroy and Bertha were included on every LP.  

Between the novelty cuts, he was able to sneak in more substantial work like "Potential" and "A Groove Will Make You Move."  As the end of the 1970s approached, he signed with TK and released "Let It Out" for its Drive subsidiary. He founded a label in the 1980s but was largely silent, save for a successful lawsuit against the Beastie Boys, who sampled his work on their License To Ill album. 

Sept 2001 Update : I just found out that Jimmy Castor has a new single available for purchase.  Check it out at his website, www.jimmycastorbunch.com

Jimmy Castor's Deepest Grooves

It's Just Begun (RCA, 1972)
Large and away his most consistent album, this has his two most popular hits, a cover version of the doo wop number "I Promise To Remember" to remind you of his roots, and one of the illest cover drawings you'll see.

Phase Two (RCA, 1972)
Home to an odd medley/tribute to Jimi Hendrix and the successor to "Troglodyte," "Luther the Anthropoid."

The Everything Man (Atlantic, 1974)

E-Man Grooving (Atlantic, 1974)

Butt Of Course (Atlantic, 1975)

Supersound (Atlantic, 1976)

The Everything Man: Best Of (Rhino, 1990s)
Thanks to the wonders of compact disc, casual fans can now get their sampling of Castor without breaking the bank.  This includes all the aforementioned tunes plus more novelty items like "King Kong."

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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